This study has attempted to deal only with the data of scientific research. Theological questions are being addressed elsewhere in this series of studies.
The results of the research presented here are not conclusive. Research results seldom are. This study has attempted to be circumspect in the way in which the salient issues from the overwhelming mass of books and other publications currently available on the subject have been sifted and digested. Those results may turn out to be inadequate in the long run. Vigilance and critical awareness is always commendable. Most important, however, is a self-critical attitude.
Many of the questions addressed here lie outside of our competence. Few of us are social scientists, psychologists or mental health specialists. We have no alternative but to rely on the evidence of those who have competence in these areas. Even so, vigilance is essential. In every area of human endeavour there are experts to be found on opposing sides of the important debates. How can a layperson navigate the troubled waters?
Often the best thing one can hope to accomplish is to accept the offered conclusions, at least provisionally, and to keep one's eyes open for new and more convincing findings.
Meanwhile, it is important to know what are the salient questions that need to be asked whenever the subject of sexual orientation is addressed. This study has tried to pinpoint those questions and to provide some guidelines for their perusal.
What Do You Think?
Is sexual attraction a matter of choice?
Is sexual orientation subject to modification or change?
Must one distinguish between orientation and behaviour?
Is the cause of orientation genetic or environmental?
How do the lives of gay people differ from the lives of straight people?
Is sexual orientation a matter of either one or the other?
How important is sex in a person's life?